By Stephen E. Lipken
Parks and Recreation Commissioner William V. Zimmerman presented a Playground Construction Timetable at the New Rochelle City Council Regular Legislative Meeting (RLM) on Wednesday, October 18.
“We had a number of park improvement projects included in our 2017 Capital Budget, mostly funded through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds,” City Manager Charles B. Strome III noted.
“Three parks were bid. Bids came in high so we added more CDBG money for all three projects… The Lincoln Park Project was increased by $160,000; totaling $460,000 for their playground along with Feeney and Flowers City Parks in September…We have final executed contracts in hand, approved by City Council.”
“On September 13, you approved or recommendation for the contracts for the three playgrounds. Flowers City Park athletic complex was initially completed at no extra cost to the city through a $2.3 million dollar FEMA and ten million dollar Legacy Grant,” Zimmerman added.
“The other project is Feeney Park in addition to the ‘KaBOOM’ Playground Grant, done in June 2016. We added new playground swings. The last time we spent money on Lincoln Park was in the late ‘90’s. The difficulty with getting HUD grants in the fall is that it pushes us back to less daylight and colder temperatures.”
“We begin next with a construction fence at Flowers Park before winter sets in and then move to fence Feeney Park.”
“The condition of Lincoln Park is deplorable,” Councilman Jared Rice averred. “It has four swings; three are missing, rubber is falling off the slider. I just want more communication from the staff to the public related to Capital Budget improvements, regarding timelines coming to fruition.”
Strome replied that the Lincoln Park project has to be one operation. “If the contractor has to come back, they will charge more. The first two parks are being done in the fall because they are smaller than Lincoln Park and will take less time to complete.” “You can begin the Lincoln project but it may not be completed before winter,” Zimmerman added, citing weather as a variable.
Mayor Noam Bramson suggested prioritizing Lincoln Park repairs because it is in the poorest shape, based on the input of the Council members.